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Parents Put Pressure on Council About Lack of School Places

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The Future of Adur School Team (FAST), a parent advocacy group, has declared that it plans to file a complaint with the Local Government Ombudsman against West Sussex County Council for what it considers to be a “lack of action” over the scarcity of secondary school spots.

FAST claims that in order to force the council to act, it is necessary to turn to the Ombudsman since over 200 students in West Sussex have been assigned to schools that are not among their top three choices, with some being placed as far away from their homes as 17 miles.

West Sussex County Council responded by expressing sympathy for students who were turned down for spots at their top schools. Although 86.8% of students were able to attend the school of their choice, the council is aware of the scarcity of spaces in the Horsham district’s Southwater and Cowfold neighborhoods.

It was logistically difficult for parents like Kevin Whitehead and Louise Friend to get their children to school because they were situated miles away from home.

FAST’s founder, Alastair Reid, called the decision to involve the ombudsman a desperate move since he felt the council was doing nothing. He stressed how crucial parental pressure is in swaying people’s decisions.

In response, the council reaffirmed its promise to enlighten parents and caregivers more through briefings and open events at secondary schools, especially in areas under strain from a lack of school spots.

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